When you speak of an esteemed French car manufacturing company such as Renault, you would expect for the company to invest all of its resources into the development and manufacturing of vehicles, so that it might be able to produce something that is actually useful for humanity. However, some of Renault’s recent activities certainly do not appear to be towards this end.
Those who love reading juicy and unbiased news on the French automotive industry, have run out of luck it seems, owing to how Renault has finally decided to take “unbiased” completely out of the proposition.
The company has purchased a 40 percent stake in the Challenges Group, which is a French publishing company, known for news that it delivers on the automotive industry. What this means is that people of France will read what Renault will feed on the matter of French cars. So much for unbiased journalism!
The surprising part of it all is that Renault is known, all over the world as one of the leading players in the international automotive industry. However, when you consider that the company had to stoop so low to contend with being left behind by companies that are ACTUALLY serious about taking the automotive industry forward, you have to consider the crisis that Renault must be in for it to make such a move.
Renault needs to realize that the company will be better served by making investments in cars rather than news agencies, owing to how it is the cars that will ultimately bring in profits and not public sentiment. If a car manufacturer is able to put forward the best products in the market, purchasing a news agency should be the least of its concerns.
Nissan has recently been involved in talks with the French government for the purchase of stakes in Renault, as part of the merger prelude. For those who don’t already know, Renault and Nissan have been in alliance for quite some time now – since 1999 to be exact, with Mitsubishi joining in on the fun recently as well. As a part of the alliance, Renault holds 43.4 % of the shares in Nissan, whereas Nissan holds 15 % of the stake in Renault. Recently, the alliance proposed a plan to the French government according to which not only would Paris give up its controlling at Renault but the company will relinquish its control over Nissan as well.
The proposition appears to be preposterous, especially when you consider the Tokyo market rules, according to which Renault will lose its entire stake in Nissan, as the deal will see Nissan’s stake in Renault exceed the mark of 25 %. This should be seen as nothing short of a disgrace for a country like France, which has always been one of the market leaders in this industry.
On top of that, the dilution of stake could be a risky game for the Macron government, owing to how they are still facing backlash for letting the TGV train makers fall into foreign hands. However, such a merger will have far more serious consequences, owing to how it will not only affect the country’s technological centers but hit the industrial jobs and the revenues that are collected from tax as well. What this means is that not only will the French lose out on their jobs but will need to contribute more to the state, in the name of tax as well.
Regardless of how lucrative the deal offered by Nissan might be, the French government needs to learn from its mistakes in the past and keep the companies that the French created with their blood and sweat from falling into foreign hands. If not, then it is the commoners of France who will suffer…again!
We all know the sales of PSA cars have been plummeting in Asia, on the whole, regardless of how they surged by a whopping 54.5 percent in Africa and the Middle East in 2017. When you consider the importance of Asia on the geographical and economic scale, especially for businesses that are looking to grow and penetrate into newer markets, you have got say that PSA must have taken these plummeting numbers extremely seriously and done everything within the company’s power to get the numbers surging again, right? Wrong!
Surprisingly, PSA has recently chosen to enter into an agreement with the government of Namibia, according to which the company will set up its plants in the country with an output capacity of 5,000 vehicles per annum. The plant is said to be operational by the year 2020. This plant will play a vital role in meeting the demands of the customers in the African region, contributing to the long term goal of the company to significantly boost its sales in Asia and Africa. However, when you consider how the sales of PSA have been falling in Asia recently, it has got to be said that the company appears to have things figured out all wrong.
The basic rule of management governs that a business needs to steady its ship in places where it has already reached, instead of wandering into unexplored waters. The market of Africa might prove to be great for PSA, no doubt, but that will only serve to divert the attention away from the Asian market. We all know how the Asian market has been regarded as “the” market for growth, over the past several years. Unless PSA starts taking things in Asia more seriously and capitalizes before the Asian market becomes concentrated for good, you can be sure that it won’t be reaching the desired goal of selling one million vehicles in 2025.
While the rest of the world celebrates New Year’s Eve with love and fireworks, the French seem to have found something that involves more fire: the torching of cars. This New Year’s Eve saw the torching of 1,031 cars, as compared to the figure of 935 from last year. What follows, almost every year, is a number of arrests of the people responsible. However, that appears to be doing nothing to curb the problem.
French president, Emmanuel Macron, denounced the actions by declaring them “cowardly” and stating that all of the culprits will be apprehended. Perhaps, it would be in the best interest of France if its President spent less time giving speeches and more time actually making an example out of people. This custom of torching cars on the New Year’s Eve began in 1990 and has been growing ever since. When you consider how this custom has survived for nearly three decades, you have got to say that it speaks millions of the inability of the French government when it comes to the protection of people’s lives and properties. It is tough being a car owner in France and it’s an irony that the country calls itself the heart of European culture!
WhatCar? recently crowned the Volvo XC40 as the Car of the Year for 2018, in addition to being the family SUV of the year. However, when you consider that the Volvo XC40 has got an engine that runs on diesel, you cannot help but doubt whether the judges were in the right frame of mind while making the call or not. It is because while the entire world is busy in making the transition from diesel and petrol powered engines to engines that run on alternative sources, WhatCar? has got the audacity to look past it all and make the controversial decision of pronouncing a diesel powered SUV as the best of the lot.
On top of that, the editor of WhatCar? insisted that the decision was made purely based on the merits of the car. If that’s a fact, then it’s saddening to see that WhatCar? has chosen to value the “merits of a diesel-powered car” over the “benefits to the environment”. What the decision of WhatCar? will do is that it will restart the surge of the consumers towards diesel powered engines, thus negating all of the work that the various environmentalists and governments had put into the promotion of alternative power sources. But then again…who cares for the future, right?
Renault has, recently, decided to re-launch its Alpine brand after a period of 20 years. The CEO of Renault had inaugurated the production line for the new A110, back in December, in a small coastal town in the northwest region of France, called Dieppe. Dieppe is among the poorest communities in the Normandy region, and the venture is bound to aid the living standards of the people there. Everything would have been perfect, however, if the spokespersons for Renault hadn’t resorted to lies as means for boasting their brand…yet again!
Renault claimed that its factory in Dieppe is the only one that’s building cars with aluminum bodies and chassis in the whole of Europe. The spokesperson had, perhaps, assumed the UK to not be a part of Europe, when making such a bold remark, owing to how JLR—a company based in the UK—has already been in the business of manufacturing cars with aluminum bodies and chassis. Either Renault needs an elementary lesson in geography to learn that the UK is one of the most powerful forces in Europe, or they need to build a car that can actually match up to the standard of JLR’s F-150, so that they don’t have to make audacious claims of greatness. It’s true, sadly, that everyone lies, whether it’s a person or a mere legal entity!
Gone are the days when racing companies and racers alike prided themselves upon going all in for victory. Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and decide for yourself. Renault’s races—Nico Hulkenburg—decided that it was worth it to not go for a win and to pragmatically secure the sixth place. Regardless how big of a mockery it makes out of the spirit of sportsmanship, it’s the manner in which the “sportsman” went about his business that has caused the uproar.
Early in the race, Hulkenburg decided to go off circuit to take the lead on Force India’s Sergio Perez. Most spectators would expect such an indecent maneuver to result into a strict action, but the organizers—for some bizarre reason—decided to hand out a five second penalty, which caused Renault to finish in the sixth position.
However, it’s when you consider what the result meant that you realize the gravity of the atrocity that had been committed. The result was good enough for Renault to go ahead of Toro Rosso in the Constructor’s Championship and take the sixth place. As a result, Renault will have more competitiveness (and more money) next year. If the competitions, nowadays, allow for achieving results through clear underhanded tactics, then the organizers should, at least, communicate to all of the participants, so that the competition is fair and the sport isn’t reduced to a mockery!
The announcement of the French government to ban the selling of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 might look good on paper to some; but when you consider the rapid shifting from conventional cars to electric cars in recent times, the announcement appears to be nothing more than a useless utterance of words. Why? Well, it’s because there won’t be any cars with conventional engines to ban by 2040—at least not in France.
Volvo—one of the leading manufacturers of cars in France—had recently announced that they’ll only manufacturing hybrid cars post 2019. Other manufacturers, such as Peugeot and Renault, have also got enough ideas in their locker to make the switch. Why then, has the Macron government announced such a timescale is beyond the reasoning of most experts.
When you consider how a polluted country like India has put forward the idea of no longer selling the fuel driven cars post 2030, the fact that the government of France is labeling its call to action as some part of an environmental “revolution” appears to be nothing short of a sham. While the French government is at it, why don’t they ban the sales of horses for transportation by 2040 also? Both of their announcements can be equally useless that way!
The French automaker Renault seems as if it was drooling over the uplifting of bans on Iran.
It only took a little while for the carmaker to strike a deal with Iran worth $987 million! The deal basically states that the carmaker will make tens of thousands of cars annually under a joint venture with Iran. Trump is already trying to isolate the automobile industry of Iran. So, here is the problem: the deal is pretty good from Iran’s point of view, but as for Renault, there does not seem any real value to it.
As if that wasn’t a problem in itself, by making this deal, the automaker is unnecessarily damaging its alliances with the US. In fact, Donald Trump only recently signed sanctions against Iran. Moreover, he also took the French President Emmanuel Macron on board to impede the growing influence of Iran. Not only does Renault try hard to break the confidence of the US President in the French government to fight Iran’s influence, but it has also put other French industries in jeopardy. You would not want to break ties with the US just so a petty carmaker like Renault can indulge in making cars with Iran.
It is evident that Renault knows no meaning of common courtesy when it hired Marcin Budkowski as Executive Director.
Marcin had been an FIA technical chief for eight months before Renault decided to lure him in. This means that he has an insight to pretty much all the secrets of the different F1 teams. As bad as it was on his part, it should have been Renault that should’ve busted the move.
It is unethical that you hire a person who knows well about the components different companies are using on their cars. It simply makes the sport unfair and inclines it into the favor of the desperate Renault. According to Toto Wolff from Mercedes,
“it’s incorrect that a person of that seniority within the FIA should be allowed to be in another working environment within a three-month period”
The low-blow Renault has made has caused several major names in the F1 Strategy Group. These names include McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari etc. Marcin will definitely use his knowledge and expertise in order to give Renault a chance to lead. This itself tells the trust this French automobile company has over its own components, operations and capabilities.